Satellite- or Cellular-Based Propane Tank Monitoring? Keep Your Eye on Benefits and Business Goals, Not Features

Photo: One-Tank

An up-to-date picture of how much fuel is in every tank—whether you’re a propane marketer servicing a county or several states—is critical in an age of shrinking margins and market disruption. But there’s some FUD being thrown around about how you do it. We’re talking about the “cellular vs. satellite” network monitoring debate.

Why Satellite Monitoring Technology is the Game-Changer Your Propane Business Needs

Companies that have thrown all their chips on the cellular side naturally paint this choice as a “make or break” moment for your business. It’s not. Let’s not confuse features, even good ones, for the business goals we want: insulating your propane business against market price shocks, streamlining your operations, and having safer and happier drivers and customers (and more of them).

Bridging the Gap: How Satellite and Cellular Hybrid Monitoring Transforms Tank Management

Tank monitors that talk to low-earth orbit satellites which then relay secure data to your team about tank usage and performance, deliver against every single one of those goals for you today. (Side note: “Cellular vs. satellite” is kind of a false choice anyway: Some monitors can switch from satellite to cellular networks when needed. We know because we built one. And as Via Satellite reported in “10 Tech Trends That Will Impact the Satellite Industry in 2024,” evolving hybrids like satellite-to-cell will increasingly mean the two options work together. The choice isn’t binary today and it will certainly be less so in the future.)

Beyond Real-Time: Why Satellite Monitoring is the Future of Tank Management

The shiny object being advanced here is “real time.” Real-time and accurate reporting on the levels of your tank are both good. And there may be situations where cellular-only monitoring solutions are the obvious choice for your business. If it’s in line with your business goals, go for it.

But let’s not get hung up on latency: the time between when the device takes a measurement and when the data shows up on your team’s devices. It isn’t going to make a bit of difference in your ability to do the “why” of measuring.

The only reason you’d need up-to-the-second data from a tank is if there’s a safety issue or a leak, in which case even satellite-first monitors like our SkyTracker Omega can send immediate reports via mobile device or email when it senses things like low batteries, stuck float gauges, leaks, or overfills.

The argument regarding latency in satellite monitoring has become increasingly redundant. With the continuous deployment of new satellites, latency is being drastically reduced. By the end of the year, the delay in data transmission is predicted to be less than an hour. This improvement not only expands real-time monitoring capabilities but also positions satellite technology as a superior option compared to other monitoring solutions, effectively addressing previous concerns and solidifying its role as the new industry standard.

Comprehensive Coverage and Real-Time Data: The Future of Satellite Tank Monitoring

Plus, satellite tank monitoring solutions like SkyTracker covers 100% of North America (and 95% of the world), which is why it’s the go-to for so many energy, construction, defense, atmospheric and other critical applications. This is the foundational capability that lets you turn your many tanks into a tertiary storage asset. You can still build smarter refill routes and keep your customers happy with same-day data.

Here’s our final takeaway: All the benefits of uniform monitoring of your many propane tanks can be had with satellite right now. And with more satellite coverage coming online all the time, improving latency means you’ll know within an hour what your usage, storage, and performance levels are, which is plenty of time to fulfill the business goals: Knowing what your aggregate fuel level is across all your tanks, creating more efficient tank refill routes, timing your wholesale buys smarter, and keeping your customers happy and safe.

Revolutionizing Propane Tank Monitoring: The SkyTracker Omega Series

The new SkyTracker Omega product series puts simple, affordable and reliable satellite tank monitoring in reach, offering all the reliability and accuracy of satellite data with the same affordability as cellular data. Safety is at the core of the SkyTracker Omega series, featuring advanced text/email alert systems for gas leaks and stuck float gauge detection.

Photo by : One Tank

Reliable, Easy to Install and Fully Supported

The SkyTracker Omega is designed for instant plug-and-play use, providing a hassle-free setup process. Just connect, configure and start monitoring your tanks. The Omega series stands as the most cost-effective satellite monitoring solution without skimping on reliability, offering accuracy and durability in the field. U.S.-based support teams are always a click or a call away.

Discover How One-Tank Customers Gain a Competitive Edge and Keep Customers Happier

Visit us, get in touch via their website or call 314.910.0839 to set up your personalized demo.